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The Best Thing to Happen to the Miami Dolphins in 2018

Travis Wingfield

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With the Colts trailing the Giants in the fourth quarter of week 16, Miami needed a touchdown in the final period of its own game to stay alive in the 2018 NFL Playoff race.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill eluded a sack and attempted to rescue one of Miami’s remaining, precious possessions. Instead, the embattled signal caller broke the pocket and threw an ill-advised pass into the waiting arms of Jaguars Linebacker Telvin Smith.

As Smith high-stepped his way into the end zone, the CBS cameras panned to the owner’s suite at Hard Rock Stadium. Alongside Mike Tannenbaum sat the demoralized, capitulated Stephen Ross with his fingers draped across his forehead.

In that moment it became clear — change was coming, yet again, to Miami’s beloved Dolphins.

It was the second defeat of a three-game losing streak to close out 2018 — marking back-to-back December meltdowns under Adam Gase.

After the tantalizing Miracle in Miami, and a surge back into the postseason hunt, Gase’s job was thought to be safe. After all, Ross was hardly a stranger to emotional proclamations; he had announced the return of Gase’s predecessor, Joe Philbin, after a meaningless comeback in 2014’s penultimate contest.

That precarious announcement came one year after Jeff Ireland grossly misappropriated Miami’s deep free agent pockets and war chest of draft picks.

“I’ve got a lot of money and a lot of picks,” Ireland famously said before spending those resources on a litany of lemons. A combined $130 million in total contracts were handed out to Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Phillip Wheeler and Brandon Gibson. Miami’s three draft picks in the top 54 selections equated to Dion Jordan and Jamar Taylor.

It’s safe to say 2013 was the worst offseason in franchise history. A franchise whose history includes a superstar running back retiring on the eve of training camp.

Five years later, the entirety of Miami’s deplorable offseason haul had been wiped clean from the roster. Finally, five years after the fact, Miami is back in the enviable position of an organizational remake.

At the conclusion of the 2019 season, the Dolphins become flush with draft capital and spending cash — roughly $120 million in cap space accompanied by 12 picks. This time it’s Chris Grier that will pull the strings on Miami’s fungible supply.

But what if Miami had pulled off the comeback on that fateful December day? What if the Giants didn’t blow that fourth quarter lead in Indianapolis? The Dolphins would’ve traveled to Western New York with a playoff bid still in the balance, and the impending changes may have never occurred.

Ross himself admitted that the philosophy, under Tannenbaum, was to utilize all those resources to plug the perceived holes on the roster, in an attempt to sneak into the January’s tournament. A practice in perpetuating mediocritiy and kicking today’s problems down the road for future consideration.

Wednesday brought Gase back to headlines across the league, again for dubious purposes. Given the past misgivings of the franchise, the lifelong ‘Phins supporter has to imagine how much different things could be today.

This universally applauded rebuild — at least the first phase of it — might’ve never been ignited. Grier, and Rookie Head Coach Brian Flores, have yet to accomplish anything in Miami, but the direction, the opportunity to make a change, hasn’t been this celebrated in decades.

If not for that narrow defeat, sandwiched between a pair of road drubbings by fellow, mediocre non-playoff teams in Minnesota and Buffalo, would Gase still be pulling the strings in Miami?

Would the Dolphins have all that spending cash, or would it have gone to players on minimal-impact positions in the mold of the Jets new operation? Would fans be looking at 12 draft picks and a roster gutted of over-paid, under-producing veterans?

Would Tannehill be preparing for his eighth season under-center in South Florida?

When Smith’s pick-six occurred, Dolphins fans dropped their collective foreheads into a pair of outstretched palms. The realization that football season was over, effective immediately, is the most unwelcomed thought in the sport.

In hindsight, however, that interception was the best thing that happened to the Dolphins in 2018, as it spawned new beginnings.

@WingfieldNFL

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Melody

    May 16, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    I’m not ready to call this new regime a success yet but it does seem as the days go by that Ross made the best decision to just go ahead and let Adam Gase go.

  2. Avatar

    JOSE BELLON

    May 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Honestly I think this regime is doing the right thing I just can imagine that if Rosen is our QB of the future and we don’t need to spend a #1 next year in a QB with 12 or 13 picks and over 120M in salary cap this Team can change in a hurry that is why we have to support what Grier and Flores are doing probably Ross finally made his best decision as an NFL Owner lets really hope so

  3. Avatar

    Kent

    May 17, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Good point.

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Miami Dolphins

Local Residents Sue Miami Dolphins over F1 Race Track

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: MotorSportWeek.com

This may be the last thing on the mind of Miami Dolphins fans everywhere, but there seems to be a prominent legal battle taking place in South Florida.

A new Formula 1 race track was recently approved (by a 6-6 vote) to be “built” around Hard Rock Stadium, with races beginning in 2021.

While city officials press to approve the new track, local residents are up in arms about the potential race. F1 cars are notoriously loud, and as we mentioned above, these races aren’t contained within an arena or stadium.

City officials believe this will bring in additional revenue for Miami and the surrounding area, as annual races are expected to be held around Hard Rock Stadium for the next 10 years. The local populous is arguing that these races are too loud for local streets, and will cause an enormous amount of disturbance and will be detrimental to the environment. Overall, this will cause a “serious degrade to their quality of life.”

Just so you can have a reference, F1 engines tend to run between 130-145 decibels. If you go to a concert and stand relatively close to an amplifier, you’re only dealing with about 100-110 decibels. The average lawn mower is about 90 decibels. Needless to say, these engines are LOUD.

Unlike NASCAR, Formula 1 (F1) race tracks are essentially “created” using local roadways that are already in place. Though there is obviously a lot of preparation that goes into “creating” the course (to ensure the safety of racers and fans alike), no new venues need to be built.

With that said, the City of Miami Gardens and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross are attempting to host the race solely on Hard Rock Stadium grounds. Given Ross’ ownership in the land surrounding Hard Rock Stadium, it’s possible this race doesn’t officially occur on any public roads.

To give some background, Stephen Ross attempted to buy F1 a couple of years ago, but the sale ended up going to another group. Though he didn’t win the bid, he reached an agreement with the new owners and is now one step closer to making the Miami Grand Prix a reality.

Tom Garfinkel, President and CEO of the Miami Dolphins, issued the following statement on behalf of the approved 6-6 decision:

This recent vote was the biggest hurdle potentially preventing the Miami Grand Prix from happening. Though the legal battles aren’t over, it seems unlikely that the decision to host F1 races will be reversed.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Sign Tight End Michael Roberts

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are beginning to bulk up the depth of their roster as they head into free agency.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Dolphins have signed tight end Michael Roberts. The exact terms of the contract are currently unknown.

Originally a 4th-round pick by the Detroit Lions, Roberts has served mostly as a backup tight end; accumulating 146 yards on 13 receptions in 23 active games between 2017-2018.

Roberts was placed on injured-reserve towards the end of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury, and was traded to the New England Patriots for a conditional 2020 7th-round pick prior to the 2019 season. Due to medical reasons, the trade was voided a couple of days later.

The Green Bay Packers claimed Roberts off of waivers, but he was subsequently released by the Packers two days later for failing a physical. Roberts was not active for any games in 2019.

Signing Roberts doesn’t necessarily mean the Dolphins aren’t going to pursue tight ends in free agency or in the draft. Mike Gesicki is the only “lock” to make the 2020 roster, as Durham Smythe‘s blocking ability might not survive if the Dolphins find themselves in an advantageous situation at the position.

Look at this as a way for Miami to get ahead of evaluations.

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Miami Dolphins

A second Dolphins mock draft from someone who doesn’t watch football

Shawn Digity

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J.K. Dobbins 2020 NFL Draft
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

(Locked On Dolphins) – Last week, Person A dazzled us with their blind mock draft, and now we’re back with the next entry in the series.

Person B is ready to go with their mock.

Keep in mind that all the blind mock draft contributors have little to no knowledge of the NFL.

I had all the contributors standardize their boards and the process so that everyone was on an even playing field.

They all used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator with seven rounds, the predictive board, and had to choose the players manually.

Without further ado, here’s Person B’s mock draft.

(1) 5. Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama
(1) 18. J.K. Dobbins – RB, Ohio State
(1) 26. Terrell Lewis – Edge, Alabama
(2) 39. Lloyd Cushenberry III – iOL, LSU
(2) 56. Xavier McKinney – S, Alabama
(3) 70. Rashard Lawrence – iDL, LSU
(5) 135. Chase Claypool – WR, Notre Dame
(5) 144. Justin Herron – OT, Wake Forest
(5) 147. Terrell Burgess – S, Utah
(6) 165. Lamar Jackson – CB, Nebraska
(6) 177. Jacob Breeland – TE, Oregon
(7) 223. David Reese II – LB, Florida

As I did with Person A, I reached out to Person B to get their reasoning behind the selections.

Me: “I noticed that you took Tua [Tagovailoa]. What led you to that decision with the fifth pick?”

Person B: “I knew the Dolphins wanted to get a QB, and Tua has been talked about so much that I just went with him.”

Me: “Which of your other selections did you feel particularly good about?”

Person B: “I need you to send me the link to my draft. I forgot who I picked since it took five attempts.”

[resends mock draft to Person B]

“I like my J.K. Dobbins pick. O-H-. And Rashard Lawrence. Because I figure he’s pretty good since LSU was really good this year.”

Me: “Your picks are really good. I’d put yours ahead of Person A. But it’s almost suspiciously good. Did you put your thumb on the scale somewhere along the line?”

Person B: “Well, by my 5th attempt (1 and 2: I didn’t select manual mode, 3: I didn’t pick 7 rounds from the drop-down menu, 4: I completed, but the site froze, and I lost everything), I figured out that I should probably pick from the top of the list first because if you don’t then those players just go like hotcakes.

So, I just matched up the positions the Dolphins needed to fill with the players highest on the list, and if I recognized a name or team, I would select them over someone I had never heard of.”

Me: “OK, well, we’re all out of time. Do you have any parting messages for Dolphins fans?”

Person B: “Well, I think the Dolphins are on the right track, and I hope that all of the true blue fans who have hung in with them for all these years will get to see another Super Bowl in the near future. GO FINS!”

And that wraps things up with Person B.

What are your thoughts on Person B’s mock draft? Leave a comment or tweet your thoughts at me directly on Twitter (@DIGITYnodoubt).

Tune in next time for Person C’s mock…

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